Good news if you thought Chronicle needed a sequel and Gnomeo and Juliet needed more hamfisted puns in its title!
Like most of the home movies Hollywood insists on showing us, Chronicle cost very little to make but managed to make back nearly ten times its $12 budget in the month it's been in theaters. So, like Warner Bros.' immediate decision to make another Project X, Universal is unsurprisingly moving quickly on a follow-up to their found-footage superhero film. As writer of the original, John Landis's self-satisfied son, Max, will return to again script. Director Josh Trank's repeat participation is less likely. After all, someone has to make a Venom movie, right?
At the same time, Elton John's Rocket Pictures is putting together a new, gnome-based effort to put some more Elton John songs in. The production banner's Gnomeo and Juliet earned $193 million worldwide, but Elton and co. are confident they can do even better if they cram another exasperating pun in the title. Thus, the disregarding Shakespearean slant, the sequel will be called Gnomeo and Juliet 2: Sherlock Gnomes. Because that was the next literary pun someone in the room thought of. Sadly, this means original writers Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil now have to come up with some kind of plot involving Sherlock Holmes, as a gnome. That's the one flaw of starting with the pun and working outward.
Though this makes the animated film at least the fourth Sherlock Holmes tale currently in production--with the BBC's current take, Robert Downey Jr., and the CBS series with Lucy Liu--Rocket Pictures CEO Steve Hamilton Shaw seems to think this is just what author Arthur Conan Doyle's would have wanted:
"Action detective stories need some gnomes to liven them up, I'm sure Arthur Conan Doyle would agree," said Rocket CEO Shaw. "It will be a fun, broad family film building on the popular foundation of the first. We believe the wide appeal of our world and characters combined with strong musical elements create a terrific franchise opportunity."
There will at last be a 3D, animated, gnomish, broad family franchise take on Sherlock Holmes, and his sleuthing will be accompanied by all your favorite hits from the catalog of Elton John. Your spirit can finally rest, Sir Arthur.